Following recent events, the Charity Commission would like to remind ALL trustees to take safeguarding extremely seriously. Safeguarding should be a key governance priority for all charities, not just those working with groups traditionally considered at risk.
The Charity Commission has four clear expectations of trustees:
- Provide a safe and trusted environment. Safeguarding involves a duty of care to everyone who comes into contact with your charity, not just vulnerable beneficiaries like children and young people.
- Set an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding, so it is safe for people to report incidents and concerns in the knowledge they will be dealt with appropriately.
- Have adequate safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people and make sure these are made public, reviewed regularly and kept up to date.
- Handle incidents as they arise. Report them to the relevant authorities including the police and the Charity Commission. Learn from these mistakes and put in place the relevant mechanisms to stop them happening again.
As your regulator, they expect charities to meet these expectations.
The Commission’s advice is that you should now:
- Undertake a thorough review of your charity’s safeguarding governance and management arrangements and performance if you haven’t done so within the last 12 months.
- Contact the Commission about any safeguarding issues, or serious safeguarding incidents, complaints or allegations which have not previously been disclosed to the charity regulator.
Their regulatory role is to ensure charities comply with their legal duties, manage any incidents responsibly and take prompt steps to protect the people affected by it. They cannot look after the safety of your people for you and do not investigate individual incidents for you.
Find more information about what and how to report to the regulator. More information about safeguarding responsibilities for trustees, and the role of the Charity Commission and other regulators, is below:
There has been a lot of media coverage on the recent reports of the serious safeguarding issues that have been identified within the charity aid sector, both in the UK and across the world. On the 5th and 6th March the government held summit meetings to look at the issues, concerns and actions that must be taken to ensure that all who are working in this important and vital sector are selected, trained and supported following strict guidelines, policies and procedures. When concerns are raised, protocols within all countries must guarantee the vulnerable are protected, and those who deliberate set out to abuse the trust placed in them are dealt with appropriately.
With this in mind, there are two key Charity Commission papers every charity should read:
Each paper clearly spells out charities safeguarding arrangements in the UK and abroad.
Safeguarding in the performing arts
The NSPCC has updated its website to include advice on keeping children safe in music, drama, dance, television and theatre. The advice covers making the environment as safe as possible for children and young people; ensuring children are properly supervised by the right people; and following the relevant legislation and guidance for child performers. The NSPCC is developing a new online training course for protecting children in the entertainment industry.
This week has hosted World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is Mental Health in the workplace. ACAS have new guidance to help:
Mental health -download guide and view case studies.
And further guidance on:
Acas has a free elearning module on ‘Mental Health Awareness for Employers’. Register for Acas’ free eLearning courses.